Joe Cantada
"Smokin'" Joe Cantada, born Jose Maria Cantada (March 15, 1942 - March 22, 1992) was a Filipino
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 TV host, anchor & commentator. He died of lung cancer in March 1992.

Together with Pinggoy Pengson, Cantada was a senior anchorman for the Vintage Sports'
PBA on Vintage Sports
The PBA on Vintage Sports was a presentation of Philippine Basketball Association games by Vintage Sports, a sports-oriented media company on Philippine television networks Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation from 1982 to 1984, People's Television Network from 1984 to 1995, and Intercontinental...

Philippine Basketball Association
The Philippine Basketball Association , is a men's professional basketball league in the Philippines composed of 10 company-branded franchised teams. It is the first and oldest professional basketball league in Asia and the second oldest in the world after the NBA...

 coverage in the 1980s. He was previously a boxing and cycling commentator.


Cantada started his career as a staff announcer doing an early morning program for a radio station in 1962. He then transferred to DZHP
DZXL is an AM station owned and operated by Radio Mindanao Network in the Philippines. The station's studio is located at the 4th Floor, Guadalupe Commercial Complex, EDSA Guadalupe, Makati City, while the transmitter is Located at Brgy. Paco, Obando, Bulacan...

 where he spent many years honing his talents with the likes of Harry Gasser, Ronnie Nathanielsz, Larry Cruz and others. He did the coverage of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics where he did the blow-by-blow account of the final round loss by Anthony Villanueva
Anthony Villanueva
Anthony N. Villanueva is an amateur boxer from the Philippines who competed at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics in the Featherweight division winning the silver medal in a lost bout against Soviet Union's Stanislav Stepashkin....

 to a Soviet boxer.

One of Cantada's greatest moments were emceeing the Thrilla in Manila
Thrilla in Manila
The Thrilla in Manila was the third and final famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World, fought at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines on October 1, 1975....

 fight between Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist...

 and Joe Frazier
Joe Frazier
Joseph William "Joe" Frazier , also known as Smokin' Joe, was an Olympic and Undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champion, whose professional career lasted from 1965 to 1976, with a one-fight comeback in 1981....

 and doing the commentary of the first Sugar Ray Leonard
Sugar Ray Leonard
Sugar Ray Leonard is an American retired professional boxer and occasional actor. He was named Ray Charles Leonard, after his mother's favorite singer, Ray Charles...

 - Thomas Hearns
Thomas Hearns
Thomas "Hitman" Hearns is a retired American boxer. Nicknamed the "Motor City Cobra" and more famously "The Hitman", Hearns became the first boxer in history to win world titles in four divisions. He would also become the first fighter in history to win five world titles in five different divisions...

 bout in Las Vegas.

From there, he moved on to far greater heights by anchoring the PBA games for its television production franchise holder, Vintage Enterprises in 1981. For the first eight years of Vintage's coverage, the program had Cantada as its main broadcaster with Ed Picson, Sev Sarmenta and Bill Velasco as three of its play-by-play commentators. The last coverage of Cantada was Game 1 of the 1991 PBA Third Conference Finals
1991 PBA Third Conference Finals
The 1991 PBA Third Conference Finals is the best-of-5 basketball championship series of the 1991 PBA Third Conference.-Series scoring summary:-Game 1:-Game 2:-Game 3:-Game 4:-External links:*...

 between Alaska
Alaska Aces (PBA)
The Alaska Aces is a professional basketball team in the Philippine Basketball Association since 1986 under the ownership of the Alaska Milk Corporation and the owner of 13 PBA championships with the 2010 PBA Fiesta Conference as their latest...

 and Ginebra
Barangay Ginebra Kings
The Barangay Ginebra Kings is a professional basketball team of the Philippine Basketball Association founded in 1979 and owned by the Ginebra San Miguel, Inc., a subsidiary of the San Miguel Corporation...



He was supposed to cover Game 4 of the 1991 Third Conference Finals but he was rushed to the Makati Medical Center
Makati Medical Center
Makati Medical Center is a 717-bed tertiary hospital in the Philippines. The hospital began operation on . Since its start in 1969, the Makati Medical Center has been the birthplace for many dramatic firsts in medical history in the Philippines, in Asia, and the world...

 due to throat infection; Cantada then went to the US to check the infection but discovered that he had lung cancer, which was incurable that time. The commentator died on March 22, 1992 in San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...


A tribute was held in his honor by the PBA a day after he died. Sev Sarmenta hosted the special program at the NASA (now PhilSports Arena).

Memorable calls

"And with no time left, Mamaril.. Mamaril.. who is playing listless all night, suddenly came through with a winning basket for the 65ers."
-- referring to 1988 PBA All-Filipino KO game between San Miguel & Añejo 65.

"The situation doesn't seem to get rosier here for Alaska.. And there's the flying tackle... The Hotdogs win their first ever crown.."
-- referring to 1990 PBA 3rd Conference game 5 between Purefoods & Alaska
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